Young Adult Book Reading Challenges discussion

Personalized recommendations > Books about bullying

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Specifically for a boy of middle school age. My son got in trouble recently for making fun of a younger school mate. He didn't think anything of it..."just havin' fun" with a younger kid, but where do you draw the line between all-in-fun-teasing and downright BULLYING?! I just want to make sure he's aware of the effect (or is it Affect?) of teasing/bullying and the consequences to victim and/or perpetrator. He's grounded right now...I'm thinking some required reading on the subject may be part of his discipline so we're on the same page. My son's a good kid, but he's a KID and kids are KIDS that learn from their mistakes...and it's up to us, as parents, to make sure he does exactly that!

Anyone have title suggestions?

message 2: by Colby (new)

Colby (colbz) Hmmm...I can't think of any specifically about bullying...but maybe you ought to get him I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore and have him read it, because he probably won't even realize he's reading about it and the beggining of the book has a lot of stuff about a bully. Just a thought.

message 3: by Mona (new)

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I actually have that book, Mona, unfortunately, I'm not sure my son would pick it up. I read I am Number Four recently Colberto, but I'm not sure that would resonate with him either...his "bullying" wasn't that blatant. More like you would a little brother (my son goes to a small Lutheran school where everyone knows everyone and sometimes it's TOO much like a sibling relationship between students)...teasing that went to far, or at least continued too long and finally bothered the victim. I just want him to be aware...of the effects of teasing...and when it could cross that line into bullying. Keep up with the suggestions, I definitely appreciate it. If nothing else, reading these books myself and relaying information to him will be better than nothing!

message 5: by Melissa (new)

Melissa W | 7 comments you know this is really interesting, but the mojority of books that ive read that have had to do with bullying normally are those that have a sucide factor too it, and im not sure that is the level of maturity what you looking for( it may be abit over his head sorta thing)

lets me know if this is what you looking for

message 6: by Jenny (last edited Feb 27, 2011 12:52AM) (new)

Jenny (narcisse) I'm also having a hard time coming up with some that don't involve suicide or school shootings or other extreme cases. And since those are generally directed at teens rather than preteens there's often mention of sexual situations, etc.

Maybe Loser by Jerry Spinelli or Blubber by Judy Blume would be good for a middle schooler?

message 7: by Kelly (new)

Kelly RAley (kraley) | 100 comments Touching Spirit Bear is amazing.

message 8: by Mona (new)

Mona Garg (k1721m) | 13 comments Kelly wrote: "Touching Spirit Bear is amazing."

Kelly, I heard about this book in a feature People Weekly did on bullying in October.

message 9: by Kelly (new)

Kelly RAley (kraley) | 100 comments I give it 3 stars for writing, but as far as really showing a character that starts out totally rotten and through his own experiences, learns to change. My friend read it with her Behavior Disorder classes each year.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

You're right Miss Baxter, I think that type of book would be too extreme. But, Loser or Blubber...maybe and I've never heard of Touching Spirit Bear. Will definitely have to check it out!

message 11: by Julia (last edited Mar 01, 2011 08:32AM) (new)

Julia | 432 comments What if you and he read together, because he may too young for it on his own, To Kill a Mockingbird-- and he wrote a report on it for school? Mockingbird is a related, new, award-winning too, amazing book. I've read Touching Spirit Bear and it's very good. Maybe this oneHandbook for Boys: A Novel?

Yes, he's too young for most of the novels I've read on bullying...

message 12: by Colby (new)

Colby (colbz) I agree, TKAM is pretty good as it shows lots about racism and it's so sad what happens as a result of the 'bullying' that happens in it.

message 13: by Anna (new)

Anna Thirteen Reasons Why or maybe Hate List

Both have male characters.

message 14: by Bdalton (new)

Bdalton | 14 comments Brutal by Michael Harmon. The main character is a girl, but it is her neighbor, a boy, who is the victim of bullying. The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian - a book that I absolutely love.

message 15: by Julia (last edited Mar 01, 2011 05:50PM) (new)

Julia | 432 comments I lovelovelove The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Alexie's other YA book that came out at about the same time and isn't as well-known Flight, but is just as good, as the well-known book if not better, but I'm not sure these or Thirteen Reasons Why and Hate List are what the OP needed...

(Don't know Brutal, it may be perfect.)

message 16: by Bdalton (new)

Bdalton | 14 comments In The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, the main character decides to go to school at the town school off the reservation. He faces ridicule from the kids and adults on the reservation for his choice. It all comes to a head during a basketball game. I don't know the situation, but if it involves a kid making unpopular choices, then it may fit. The book is funny and engaging, too, and definately will not come across as preachy. If the parent and child read it together, there are places where you could discuss people who are different (race, class come up in this book), how hard it is to make difficult choices,how people are born into certain situations - its not their choice, but their lot in life, etc.

message 17: by Melissa (new)

Melissa W | 7 comments Thirteen reasons why does have a sucide aspect to it. i was going to recomment it but because of that i didnt. i mean the sucide is just a plot feeder and is all about what the main character is finding about... the 13 reasons why Hailey Baker committed suicide

message 18: by Miss Bookiverse (new)

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) I second BDalton. Brutal is an excellent book on bullying (and in general). The main character is a girl but she's no typical girly girl, she's really cool and a strong, provocative character.

message 19: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (narcisse) Thirteen Reasons Why also has a rape and another sex scene in it.

message 20: by Melissa (new)

Melissa W | 7 comments yup yup jenny thats right.... i thought that this would be too much for a middle schooler to comprehend and understand fully. but otherwise its a very good book

message 21: by Kritika (new)

Kritika (spidersilksnowflakes) Anna wrote: "Thirteen Reasons Why or maybe Hate List

Both have male characters."

I think Thirteen Reasons Why is a bit to graphic and depressing for a middle schooler - especially with the focus being a suicide.
I don't have any suggestions myself, because most bullying books I know would be too depressing/disturbing for a middle schooler.

message 22: by Annalisa (new)

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) Maybe Stargirl? The main character is a girl and the ridicule isn't quite boy-teasing-boy type, but my husband's (middle) school read it last year to open up a discussion about bullying.

message 23: by Colby (new)

Colby (colbz) You really don't want your kid reading Thirteen Reasons Why just yet. I read it when I was a freshman. It's amazing, but it has dark themes and topics.

message 24: by Eli (new)

Eli Oldham (thebooksupplier) I realize I'm chiming in late, but I've had a lot of my 8th graders (I don't know how old "middle school age" is) who have read 13 Reasons Why and loved it. Yes, there is the suicide aspect of it, but I think it resonates with the "we're just playing around" idea that was discussed earlier.

If you want something that isn't suicide related, but still deals with bullying, you might try Scrawl by Mark Schulman. It's written from the point of view of a bully who has managed to land himself in after-school detention and has to write a journal as punishment while his "droogs" are outside cleaning the school grounds.

I'm actually using this novel with one of my students, and we use it as a starting point for discussions about how he treats his classmates.

message 25: by Winna (new)

Winna (winnaefendi) | 16 comments Thirteen Reasons Why and Hate List. But Hate List, specifically.

message 26: by Jody (last edited Apr 11, 2011 07:20PM) (new)

Jody Kihara (jodykihara) | 14 comments Dawn, I'm chiming in a bit late too, but I have a book he might like -- bullying is one of the themes, but the rest of the book is fairly lighthearted and humorous. It's a 'reluctant reader' book (ie, short!) and aimed at boys aged 11-14. It's only in ebook format, but let me know if you're interested; I'd be happy to send you a copy for free if it will help your son in any way!
Jody The Goob Factor by Jody Kihara

message 27: by Brenda (new)

Brenda (brlemon) | 149 comments I'm chiming in a bit late as well. I personally wouldn't recommend Thirteen Reasons Why unless the middle schooler was very mature for his/her age.

A book that is an award-winning book that handles Bully issues is Bystander by Preller. I would highly recommend it for your son.

message 28: by Teresa (new)

Teresa (teresainohio) I also recommend Hate Listbut probably is a little much for mild teasing. It does involve school shooting but focus is on the aftermath and consquences of such actions.

message 29: by Julie (last edited Jun 04, 2011 08:56AM) (new)

Julie S. | 23 comments Out of My Mind is about a middle school girl who is bullied because she has cerebral palsy.

Lord of the Flies deals with something much stronger than bullying, but it might be interesting.

Ender's Game has a bullying aspect although that is not the main focus.

Story Time I adore this book in general. It is such a lovely story that I suggest to people all the time. It tells of a boy and girl (they are uncle and niece but about the same age) who attend a magnet school for smart kids. The principal's daughter bullies those two. It has humor, nursery rhymes, mushroom milkshakes, and so much more in addition to dealing with bullying.

message 30: by Jimmyb (new)

Jimmyb | 1 comments I'd suggest Fight To The End if you really want to add the shock factor. It's a really good story, but shows how much damage bullying does to people. A lot of the book looks at how the main character Michael is driven further and further into depression by those who bully him. Thankfully he's got a friend who keeps dragging him back out. But if you think a good shock might help, this would be a good book for it.

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